Health and Nutrition: Feeling the Effects of FoodBy Dr. Margaret Paul
November 24, 2008
Are health and nutrition not even blips on your screen? Are you oblivious of the physical and emotional effects of food in your body? Are you convincing yourself that the junk food or processed food you eat is not doing harm?
If you are a junk food junkie or you often don't eat well, and are unconcerned with health and nutrition, why is this? Every day we read about or see on TV how sugar, soft drinks, many kinds of fats, fried foods, factory farmed foods, devitalized, packaged and processed foods, pesticide laden foods, and other kinds of junk food cause illness. What causes you to ignore the research and go right on eating badly?
I explored this issue with some of my clients and friends, and this is what they said:
- "I don't believe it. My parents didn't eat well and they lived long lives." (Albeit not healthy long lives!)
- "I don't feel any different when I eat junk than when I eat well, so I don't think it's harming me."
- "It's worth it for a few years off my life." (Forgetting that many of the years lived may be spent in illness and pain).
What Are You Not Noticing?
What I have seen over and over is that many people are not sensitive to the profound effects food has on them, so they are not motivated to eat well. They don't notice that their energy may be a little lower or that they might not be as clear-headed. But the real thing they don't notice is what junk food and devitalized food is doing to their organs and immune system.
The sad thing is that suddenly, one day in their 50s or 60s or 70s, they notice it - big time. This is when they might start to have health problems - heart problems, diabetes, cancer, or other degenerative diseases. While the health issue seems to be sudden, it has been happening for all the years of poor nutrition. But they didn't notice because they didn't pay attention to how they FELT when they ate sugar or processed foods - both physically and emotionally.
They didn't notice that their mood, or their ability to sleep, or their stamina, or the level of pain in their body was affected by the food they were eating. Often they just took a pill to take away anxiety or depression, or to sleep, or to take away pain. Or they drank more coffee to give them the energy to get through the day.
In fact, they may have been using food to AVOID their feelings rather than attending to them. Comfort food certainly works to make us feel better for the moment, while covertly doing its damage in the body.
Being Present in Your Body
Until you are willing to be present in your body and notice the effects food has on you physically and emotionally, you might not be motivated to eat well. Until you desire a high level of health throughout your life, instead of spending your later years dealing with illness, you might not be motivated to eat well.
If high energy and excellent health are important to you, then start noticing how you feel when you eat clean, fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Experiment with noticing the differences between raw dairy and meats from organically fed grass-finished cows, as opposed to pasteurized dairy and factory farmed cows, as well as organic eggs and chickens, as opposed to factory-farmed eggs and chickens that are filled with hormones. See how you feel if you take the time to make fresh raw and cooked foods as opposed to packaged foods.
If you think you can't afford the healthy food, think about how much you will be saving on doctor bills and medications. See where you can cut down spending in other aspects of your life. After all, what is really more important in life than health?
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Today, slow down. Breathe. Walk more slowly. Be mindful - present to yourself, to others, to your environment, to Spirit. Each moment you are truly present is a moment of enlightenment.
By Dr. Margaret Paul